THERE ARE two new British National Squash Champions: James Willstrop and Sarah-Jane Perry. Both secured their achievements at the AJ Bell British National Squash Championships held at the University of Nottingham from 13th-16th February.
•Willstrop was the reigning champion – and his successful defence of his title brings his tally of championships to four. The route to the 2020 title was not all plain sailing. The champ dropped to a 10-4 deficit in his first game – before climbing back to win 12-10. He went on to lose his second game 11-0. It took a determined fightback to win the next two matches 12-10 and 14-12 and claim the championship.
•Perry’s route to the championship – the second UK title of her career – was a little easier but still very hard fought. She played England’s Jasmine Hutton in the final and said of her opponent, “Jasmine played fantastic. She came out with no signs of nerves and played some really fearless squash. She has improved so much in the past six, 12, 18 months. She is definitely pushing in that crop of young players trying to challenge the slightly older guard like myself. I am sure she will have many more finals.
Perry also signalled her delight at the win in terms of her own career, saying “I’m really pleased to win a second National title because I’ve been stuck on one for a little while.”